NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Fifteen Sailors from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) attended Geico's 7th Annual Military Appreciation Day Nov. 8 in Virginia Beach, Va., to be honored for their service in the military.
"Today's military men and women are the very [definition] of role models," said Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera E. Oberndorf. "You save lives, attend churches, fight fires, and work as [emergency medical technicians]. Virginia Beach would not be the city it is without the presence of today's military member."
More than 300 people from all five services were represented at the luncheon, as well as military spouses, veterans, Reservists and the National Guard.
"I think it's important to continually honor the sacrifices of our military members," said Naval Air Station Oceana Commanding Officer, Capt Patrick J. Lorge. "It serves as a reminder of the freedoms that we cherish daily."
Service members were chosen for various reasons to attend the luncheon, from recognition of their everyday work, to such achievements as Sailor or Bluejacket of the Year awards.
"It's a great idea to attend events like the Geico luncheon to represent USS Carl Vinson," said Storekeeper 1st Class (AW/SW) Jessica Doucette, Carl Vinson's Junior Sailor of the Quarter. "There was a table set for deployed service members who were not able to attend because of their ongoing sacrifices. For me, that consideration was special."
The day's mission was clearly stated as being a day of remembrance, appreciation and admiration. Hampton Roads has one of the largest populations of military members, and the luncheon was hosted to say thank you.
At the close of the luncheon, Carl Vinson's Sailors gathered around retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Robert Walker for a photo.
"I truly believe these kinds of events are important to attend, not only to represent the Carl Vinson, but to be recognized as service members," Doucette said.
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.